The changes 2020 have brought…

As I watched Elizabeth tell me she was going to text one of her friends to “connect” with them.  I started thinking about how much this year has changed her and us.

Sure, it was a pandemic.

Sure, it has wiped away most of what was Elizabeth’s previous activities.

But there were things that this year brought that I feel would not have happened otherwise.

We were forced to make changes right out of the gate in March as did 99% of the earth.  But for those who have a child with special needs, these abrupt changes can create havoc that can unravel them far and away more than others.

Sometimes, to the degree that getting them back to a baseline that allows you to work with and for them again, can’t happen for a while or is so difficult that parents/caregivers have a rush of emotions and anxiety themselves.

It was challenging for us!!!!

One day she is headed to her college program and the next she is home…home …and more home….

But I am grateful that the work we had done previously with Elizabeth allowed us to have good conversations about what was really happening in the world and allowed us to ask higher level questions to her. Ones that once answered, helped us forge a new path.

I shared before about the new goals she made for herself…ones we are currently doing.

I shared about her Etsy site, BelieveDesignsEG. Where she sells her artwork.

I shared about her fitness level which has increased wonderfully due to her love of walking and of course, how walking is a COVID safe activity.

But what I have not shared with you yet is that while these are all beautiful things, there is sometimes the missing piece to the puzzle that I noticed. I know that with dyspraxia, initiation of tasks, skills, choices etc… is challenging.  So sometimes, I feel that she is loving all these new things but that the push still originates from outside of her.

Our hope has been for HER to be the one to make the choices, share ideas first, do things more autonomously…We know she can, and she knows she can but there was a missing link to make the jump from the desired goal of “being an adult” to getting there.  Elizabeth has always expressed the desire but that it scares her and makes her anxious.

But this COVID year has brought in a wonderful new friend to Elizabeth.  Her name is Lynne, and she has been the missing link, a piece or path to helping Elizabeth see she CAN be an adult.  Lynne is her friend but also a mentor to her.  She is giving Elizabeth the INTERNAL confidence to see she can make choices, to feel successful.

Lynne has helped Elizabeth with her artwork.  Lynn gets her.

Lynne has helped Elizabeth take stock of her choices in music, books, and television shows.  Elizabeth has made much more mature choices!

I love seeing the confidence that Elizabeth exudes and all because of this long awaited, long prayed for, missing piece.

I am in NO WAY saying we are NOT still working.  Oh, we are! Elizabeth is still a work in progress. (Aren’t we all too?)

But we are working from a different mindset.  All of us are.

Most of all Elizabeth, who did that texting because SHE wanted to, with no help from us!

I offer this whole story out because you just never know who could walk into your child’s journey and be that wonderful “missing piece.”

I wasn’t expecting this at all, so please know, I wish you all a surprise for your child.

I hope everyone can be as peaceful as possible and please wear a mask…we need to do this together!

Michele Gianetti

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